Atlas agreed with a bright smile on his face. It was the perfect time to do it, since it was already dawn. They had spent the entire day playing in the arcade. Both stand up from the floor; Midori stretches her arms before exiting the place and make their way to the mansion. While passing by the neighborhood they could see how the houses were illuminated, even though there was no one living there.
They went inside the mansion and to the kitchen. Midori put on the apron again.
— What would you like to eat?
— Honestly, I don’t know. —he shrugged— What are people supposed to eat in a picnic?
— Well, sandwiches, tea, something sweet… —she said while counting the dishes with her fingers— And stuff like that…
— You can make that if you’d like, then. It’s fine by me. I’ll be in the garden arranging everything.
Atlas then exited the kitchen; Midori heard the sliding door leading to the garden being opened as he did. She sighed and started to open up the cabinets, hoping to find everything she needed. Luckily for her, exactly everything she needed was in the kitchen. She did a small fist pump into the air in victory and then took the bread out of its plastic, leaving the slices over the counter. She went to the refrigerator, looking for some cheese or marmalade to put on the slices of bread.
When she finished them, she started to think of something sweet to make, taking a moment thinking about it as she tapped her lips with her index finger while thinking. In the middle of it, she could hear Atlas going in and out from the garden to the house and so on. She couldn’t help but chuckle, wondering what he could be planning.
She opened the refrigerator once again as a last resource and noticed a few containers that seemed to have ice cream inside. Since the night wasn’t too cold, she decided that it was the perfect dessert.
Half an hour later, Midori finished everything they needed for the picnic. She looked for a basket she had seen before and carefully put the dishes inside. Taking the apron off, she went outside to the garden, but right in that moment Atlas was going in and stopped her.
— Wait! It’s still not ready, give me a few more seconds… Close your eyes.
Midori did so and closed her eyes. Atlas continued to arrange his decorations and after a few minutes he was ready.
— You can open them now.
— I’m really curious to know what you did.
— You’ll see.
They made their way outside together, and when told to open up her eyes, Midori slowly opened them up and they kept growing in size as she admired her surroundings in surprise. There was a red blanket on the floor, just besides a big tree. From there, paper lamps were dangling, perfectly illuminating the place, along with the moon and stars. Two cushions were next to each other for the both of them to sit on. It was a beautiful scene. Midori felt a little overwhelmed. She walked to it and left the basket in the middle of the blanket, then she turned around to look at Atlas.
— You outdid yourself… is this why you took so long?
— These lamps were not easy to hang. —he said with a chuckle— Want to sit down?
Atlas walked to where the cushions were and sat down in one of them, patting the one that was next to him so Midori could so the same. Atlas took one of the sandwiches and gave it a small bite, making him raise his eyebrows and give a thumbs up. Midori smiled and took one as well, they started to eat together, and tell stories of when they were kids. Between stories and laughs they finished all the food, included the ice cream.
Midori took a small sip of the tea she had prepared and tilts her head to look at Atlas. He, too, was drinking the tea. Midori started to feel nervous. The view she had seemed like a dream. Atlas’ white hair shined along with the stars. Midori couldn’t hold it any longer. She took a deep breath. “This is a dream, what does it matter?” she thought. And as she said that, she did to do something she could’ve never dared to do in real life.
Hearing his name, Atlas lowered the cup he was drinking from and looked at Midori with curiosity. Without thinking it twice, Midori got closer to Atlas and, slowly, pressed her lips to his in a small kiss. Atlas couldn’t close his eyes; he was caught off guard. Midori slowly moved away and looked down. Atlas couldn’t move, the nerves were consuming him. He was blushing from head to toe.
Midori cleared her throat.
— I-I’m sorry… —she said, still not able to meet his eyes— I-I think I’m in love with you.
Atlas swallowed down.
— I’m in love you too, Midori. —he firmly confessed—.
Midori raised her head and looked at him in the eyes. Midori’s eyes had a light on them Atlas has never seen before. Atlas smiled and raised his hand, softly caressing Midori’ cheek. He got closer to her and kissed her again.
But then, Midori woke up in the hospital. She bites her lip so hard she felt how blood was flowing from it. She gets up from the bed and approaches the bedside table next to it, throwing everything that was in there. She was screaming like never before, feeling how her vocal cords couldn’t take it anymore. She felt like she was going crazy, almost at her limit. She tried to desperately take off the bandages, but they seemed like they were part of her. She took out all the drawers from both tables.
Between one of them, she heard how a small bottle fell to the floor. It seemed to contain something inside. Midori searched for it on the floor, touching everything and everywhere. When she finally found it, she took it and shook it a bit, then she opened it up and smelled what was inside. She threw a few of its contents on her hand, they were pills. Midori hesitated for a moment and thought about it, but ended up doing it. She took a handful of them and swallowed them down. She kept swallowing some more down until she couldn’t do it any longer. A few minutes were enough for them to take effect.
And then, Midori fell unconscious to the floor.
TO BE CONTINUED.